Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
This opening shows the Taubman Museum of Art's IMAX theater space that was never finished.
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
A three-dimensional drawing of the Taubman (above) by architect Randall Stout graces a wall of the gallery manager’s workshop.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
The Taubman Museum of Art has begun offering an unusual behind-the-scenes tour.
For $25 ($20 for members), this hour -long tour will take visitors to the heart of what makes the museum’s signature building work — its state-of-the-art boiler room and air conditioning units, its heated and air-conditioned dock for receiving artwork, its massive freight elevator.
The artistically inclined might wonder what the appeal would be, but the mechanically inclined might find it fascinating.
The tours will take place during the museum’s new “Thursday Night Live” events, which started this week. The museum has extended its Thursday hours until 9 p.m., and programming for these evenings also includes live music and, starting July 18, art classes for adults.
Conducted by museum facilities supervisor Kris Stober, the behind-the-scenes tours even stop by the cavernous second-floor space above the museum’s theater, where an IMAX projector was originally intended to go.
(For those curious what it would take to put an IMAX in there , Stober explained that it would involve the demolition of the unfinished room’s concrete floor. A more financially feasible option would be to turn it into another gathering space or gallery, though the room would have to be finished and brought up to code.)
A retired U.S. Coast Guard chief warrant officer and naval engineer who’s been with the museum since its 2008 opening, Stober said the building’s heating, cooling and air filtration systems and its underlying steel skeleton remind him of ships on which he served.
“The air that you breathe in here is cleaner than a hospital’s,” he said with evident pride.
Th e tours require reservations, and a ticket includes an adult beverage once the tour is complete. For safety’s sake. no children under 12 and no babes in arms permitted. Museum admission is free. For more information, call 204-4135 or visit taubmanmuseum.org/main/calendar/thursday-night-live.
Floyd artisan trail tour
The Floyd Artisan Trail Tour, founded by nonprofit organization SustainFloyd, returns for its third year with craft displays, classes and participating shops and restaurants offering discounts or complimentary items.
The self-guided tour takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. June 16, with a total of 45 art studios, galleries, farms and businesses participating.
Activities include paper-making, furniture-making, pottery, patchwork quilting, woodworking, blacksmithing, coffee roasting, caring for alpacas, caring for honeybees and more.
Organizers will staff an information table at the Community Market Pavilion across from the Floyd Country Store in downtown Floyd. For more information, including maps, email email@example.com, call 540-745-7333 or 540-230-7955 or visit floydartisantrail.org.
Saturday, Ferrum College will host a performance by gospel singers Larnell Starkey & the Spiritual Seven —the first event in the college’s new Blue Ridge Performing Arts Series, created to fill the void left with the closure last year of the 30-year-old Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre.
Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre founder Rex Stephenson will even return for an October one-man show celebrating the college’s centennial.
Following dinner theater tradition, attendees will have the option to have meals with most of the performances.
The series is funded in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The complete schedule follows.
The season will also include a spring fundraising performance by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra that’s yet to be scheduled.
For more information, call 230-6600 or visit www.blueridgeperformingarts.com.
Railroad oral histories
The Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Historical Society of Western Virginia have received a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities to fund “Cotton to Silk,” an oral history project that will collect tales of the railroad.
“Cotton to Silk” has been gathering stories from the transportation museum’s African-American Norfolk & Western Heritage Celebration group, a group of retired railroad employees who meet monthly at the museum, as well as other employees of the Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern railroads.
Their testimonies will be assembled into a book and an online exhibition, and be made part of the museum’s “African American Heritage on the Norfolk & Western 1930-1970” exhibit.
Historian and author Sheree Scarborough is supervising the project, in consultation with Ted Delaney, chairman of the Washington and Lee University history department, C.W. Sullivan, a Hollins University faculty member and professor emeritus from East Carolina University, and George Kegley, former director of the Historical Society and a retired business editor of The Roanoke Times.
On the Arts blog
Robbi Cohn, who made a career of photographing the Grateful Dead in concert, will be at Ripple in downtown Roanoke for a show and sale on Saturday. To learn more and read other arts and culture news, visit blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.